With trial set for August 1, R. Kelly’s attorney challenges Chicago charges
The R&B singer’s new defense attorney R. Kelly has turned his gaze to federal charges still pending against him in Chicago, arguing that prosecutors filed them about a decade too late.
Jennifer Bonjean, the Chicago-born attorney who helped freelance actor Bill Cosby, filed a motion Monday seeking to have several of the charges against Kelly dismissed. The singer is charged in Chicago federal court with child pornography and obstruction of justice.
His August 1 trial is three months away.
Kelly is already facing a life sentence in federal prison after a Brooklyn jury found him guilty of racketeering. His sentencing there is set for June 15. Bonjean had hoped to delay sentencing Kelly in Brooklyn until after his trial in Chicago, but the Brooklyn judge refused.
For now, Kelly is locked up in a federal detention center in New York.
Bonjean’s new motion seeks to charge Kelly with exploiting a minor to create child pornography in 1998 and 1999, seeking to obtain child pornography between 2001 and 2007, and committing other sex crimes between 1996 and 2001.
She argued that the statute of limitations expired on all those counts around 2009, a decade before Kelly’s federal indictment in Chicago.
“In its newfound enthusiasm to prosecute Mr. Kelly, the government is going back a quarter of a century to bring charges of sexual abuse and receipt of child pornography that have long been barred,” Bonjean wrote.
U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber, who is presiding over the case, previously denied a motion to dismiss another obstruction of justice charge also pending against Kelly.